What Happens When Your Website Drops—Or How to Fix Your Idaho Falls SEO

Hey there! In this article, I’d like to focus on what do you do when your site drops. First, I’d like to go over potential reasons why your site can drop, and then I’ll go over how to fix what’s happened.

But first!

And this is so important—be patient! 

Many times, it takes weeks, sometimes longer, before you notice changes in the search results, even after you’ve fixed a potential problem.

So for example, when you get a new link to your website, you’re not going to see the potential power of that link for around six weeks. I’ve seen it even happen much longer. Between you and me—I think Google uses a randomization factor, just to make sure that the crap stays out of site.

Question is though—why does it take so long to work? 

There’s a big reason why Google came to dominate the search results. And when it comes down to it, it’s because of quality. Their search results are of higher quality than the other search engines. And one of the biggest reasons why is because of ranking delays. 

See, a huge tactic, that unfortunately people think is still a good idea, is to spam a lot of links to a site in the hopes that it’s going to work. Search engines use links to measure how popular a website is and how trusted it should be. So, when SEO first started to become a “thing,” companies would just start sending as many links as possible to their websites and then within a short amount of time, (as in a couple weeks) boom! the website’s at the top of the search. 

Can you see why this would be a problem?

If not, that’s okay. Here’s why—spammy sites, think “adult,” were the ones linking. Or giant link farms that don’t have any information. Where’s the relevancy?  Where’s the good information? The internet is information. And if it’s not quality, it’s not useful.

And if it’s not useful, customers (aka people searching on the search engine) aren’t going to use said search engine.

So it doesn’t make sense to use such tactics.

And Google transitioned away from that and transitioned into relevancy. AND! They transitioned into slow rewards for links to ensure that it’s not just these stupid, crappy, spammy sites that people are getting links from.

Is that starting to make sense now?

So, what happens if you had bad SEO done on your site?

Well, it depends. And if anyone’s honest in this industry, you’ll that answer a lot. It depends on how bad the SEO was. If you’ve gotten a penalty from Google, there’s a good chance you’ll first need to be patient, and second, you’ll need to restart your site, in which case (and depending on your niche) you’ll need to wait at least a year before you start seeing good results from your site. It sucks, but it’s true.

Now, if it’s not worst-case scenario, you can start disavowing links in Search Console. Google’s really good at detecting which are good and which are bad links and so, a lot of times you don’t need to. But, if you do have a penalty, make sure that you look at sites linking to yours and start disavowing them. And if I were you, I’d get the help of a reputable SEO consultant or agency to help you do this. I know you’ll probably be shy about wanting to work with someone else in the field because you got burned, but there are many good Idaho Falls SEO agencies who are honest and fulfill what they say they will.

Next issue to look at—what happens when your site slowly drops down over several months?

Well, it depends. Grin. But more than likely, if you have quality links going to your site, it’s probably because your competitors are on the move and building more links to their sites. 

Other times, it could be because of an algorithm update, which I’ll talk more about later on, and in which case you’ll need to either fix some of your OnPage content (and that’s more than just the written words, but is also your URLS, Titles, and Htags)—OR—it’s one of the many updates that Google does where they switch back and forth from authority to relevancy.

The authority of a website is essentially how powerful it is—think big sites like Yelp or HomeAdvisor. 

The relevancy of a site is relevant or targeted it is to the particular site—think your local services, for example.

Every few months, Google switches which they give preference to. They’ll give preference to the big guys for a bit, and then then they’ll give preference to the little guys for a bit, and this dance happens over and over.

So be patient, and keep building quality, relevant sites. 

The secret to riding these changes is simply building more relevancy and authority so that either way, you’re covered.

What happens when you don’t have a penalty and your site has disappeared?

If you’re certain you don’t have a penalty, but  your site isn’t showing up anywhere, likely, it’s sitemap issue. 

Best thing to do is simply go back into Search Console and re-submit a sitemap. Then wait a few days or weeks, and your problem will likely be fixed.

Also—build more links. Remember that randomization factor I mentioned? I think over and over again Google simply will pull moves like this in order to make sure that you’ve got a quality site. And if you’re still getting quality links, then it means you’ve got a quality site. 

What happens if you’ve dropped several pages after an update?

Again it depends. But remember—be patient. A lot of times, you’ll just have to wait for the hornets to calm down after the nest’s been kicked.

But some things to look for, how old is your site? As of writing this article, it’s nearing the end of 2019 and Google just released the last (most likely) part of their Core Update. Well, new sites, that is to say sites under a year old, basically vanished. I say basically because they ended up on page 7 or 10, but who goes there anyway? Pretty much no one. (In fact, you ought to try this some time, just start clicking on the pages at the bottom and go to the next page. More than likely, you’ll get a Captcha to pop asking if you’re a robot for suspicious behavior!) 

So in the case of a young site, really get your links going—but make sure they’re quality, relevant sites. And be patient.

In the case of an older site, look at the examples and answers above.

More than likely, you’ll be able to figure out what to do.

Now, there is a lot to SEO and having it done right and well—but the bottom line is, keep building, and keep building quality.